Bel­tran go­ing out on top

The Telegram (St. John’s) - - SPORTS - BY KRISTIE RIEKEN

It took quite some time, but Car­los Bel­tran fi­nally got there, win­ning a World Series ti­tle af­ter 20 sea­sons in the ma­jors.

Now he is leav­ing the Hous­ton Astros and leav­ing base­ball, re­tir­ing af­ter a ca­reer in which he was a nine-time All-star and was Rookie of the Year. The 40-year-old des­ig­nated hit­ter and out­fielder made the an­nounce­ment Mon­day, 12 days af­ter the Astros beat the Los Angeles Dodgers in Game 7 of the World Series. He an­nounced his re­tire­ment in an es­say writ­ten for The Play­ers’ Tri­bune web­site. His story touched on what fi­nally win­ning a cham­pi­onship meant to him.

“I re­al­ized early on that my pur­pose in this game was to share knowl­edge with younger play­ers and to give back to the game of base­ball,” he wrote. “I al­ways wanted to do that — that, and be the best team­mate I could pos­si­bly be. Over 20 years, I feel like I ac­com­plished that.

“So whether we won or lost Game 7, I would have still been happy with my ca­reer. But it still feels nice to have a ring,” he con­tin­ued.

Be­sides be­ing named an All­star nine times and the 1999 AL Rookie of the Year, he won three Gold Glove and two Sil­ver Slug­ger awards.

He hit .295 with 29 homers and 93 RBIS for the New York Yan­kees and Texas in 2016. He bat­ted .231 with 14 homers and 51 RBIS for Hous­ton.

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